The morning was go, go, go, as Kim and I rallied the little ones to spend the morning at the park. After I sipped my coffee, I slapped together a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and grabbed a bunch of grapes for breakfast. Kim and I buy the same brand of fruit jam, Smucker’s Simply Fruit, which is free of added sugar and artificial sweeteners. The bread was nice and soft and squishy, yet still whole grain.
I chugged a large jug of water at the park after carrying, not one, but two toddlers up a short hill. Talk about feeling the burn! I was wearing workout attire, so I kind of felt like I’d worked out.
Since Kim had surgery a few weeks ago, her freezer was filled with wonderful casseroles from friends and family. A key to getting leftovers to taste as good as freshly made is proper thawing and reheating. Kim’s mom made a scrumptious summer vegetable quiche with cheddar and jack cheese. The recipe originated from a 1980’s Weight Watchers cookbook, and Kim’s mom added her magical touch with spinach, zucchini, yellow squash, and red bell pepper. Evaporated skim milk replaced the heavy cream used in a traditional quiche. Kim thawed it the day before in the fridge, and then I nuked it for a minute and finished heating it in the toaster oven to crisp the crust. Aluminum foil protected the top layer from overbrowning. The quiche was divine. I paired it with cantaloupe and apple slices.
The children woke up from their naps, which meant snack time for everyone. I swirled fruit puree into Stonyfield Farm vanilla yogurt. Kim saves fresh fruit before it goes bad by pureeing it with an immersion blender and freezing it in an ice cube tray. Use as you wish by adding it to applesauce, smoothies or yogurt, as I did today. Brilliant! I also gobbled up half of a tortilla and almond butter roll up, and half of a chocolate chip granola bar.
I couldn’t get the thought of the dark, cold bubbly out of my head this afternoon. The fact that my head was throbbing didn’t help. Before Kim ran out to Target, I shamefully asked her to bring me back a Diet Coke. The Earl Grey tea just wasn’t going to cut it today. Do I have a problem? At least 4 ounces linger in the bottle, which must mean I still have a shred of self-control, right?
Next week I will be visiting my client, Fresh & Easy, and wanted to test a recipe that I will feature in a cooking demo there. I practiced by making Italian turkey meatballs with marinara and spaghetti. I experimented by baking some of the meatballs and frying the others in a bit of oil. Big surprise – the fried ones won the challenge. I used my favorite pasta brand, Barilla Plus thin spaghetti, a blend of semolina and legume flour plus oat bran, which adds a natural source of fiber and makes it more satisfying. A simple romaine salad with Ken’s Northern Italian vinaigrette, and garlic toast made with whole grain bread complemented the meal perfectly, along with a glass of pinot noir, naturally.
Estimated Calories: 580 (breakfast), 375 (lunch), 650 (dinner), 525 (snacks), 100 (wine).
Scarlet and I head back home tomorrow. While it has been a wonderful trip out here, I’m looking forward to getting back to Steve, my own bed and my beloved kitchen.
Don’t you love learning new tricks from friends? Feel free to share yours here.
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